COMMUNITY | Staff Reporter, Australia

Why 'fat tax' is not the best cure for obesity

Strategy expert, Steve Hansen, shares his thoughts on the issue.

Following the report that the government has funded a research project that will investigate the proposed ‘fast food tax’ strategy, QSR Media interviewed expert, Steve Hansen, to find out more about what this would mean for the industry and how big of an impact can it make in reducing obesity rates in the country.

Below is a Q&A with Steve Hansen, King of Strategy at Think DONE Management Consultancy.

QSR Media: What will the proposed ‘fat tax’ mean for the QSR Industry?

Steve: How many forms of tax to date have actually changed behaviour? My guess is that if any tax is imposed it will just be another stopper for industry for all of the wrong reasons. All industry and particularly small business need incentives not dis incentives as such. Our politicians need to understand that more bureaucracy and more taxes only impede not enhance.

QSR Media: How strong is the need for a fast food tax?

Steve: There is no such need at all, however there certainly is a need for education. Again our politicians need to understand the supposed problem before inventing taxes that will make no difference what so ever.

QSR Media: How big of an impact can this make in reducing the obesity rate in the country?

Steve: This will make no impact at all. The public need education on the intake of food and sugar etc, not taxes!!

QSR Media: What benefits can the industry and public get from this? 

Steve: There are no benefits to industry or to the public, just a feel good sense from those who may have framed up these ridiculous ideas.

QSR Media: What are its possible consequences?

Steve: The closure of a number of small businesses.

QSR Media: How do you think the industry and consumers will react to the proposed taxation strategy?

Steve: Not sure, but would hope that they would be realistic and also see that education is key and taxes are something that are antiquated.

QSR Media: Do you think that this is the best solution to prevent higher obesity rates? 

Steve: No it is not even close. We are over governed and over taxed. The only real solution is in education, which starts at home, with parents, teaching their children about 3 meals a day and the right foods etc. we do not need the beuracracy big stick approach. It has never worked over generations, why do we continue as such?

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